Audre in Stereo

25 05 2010

from For SHE So Loved the World: The Lorde Within

I don’t know if Audre used to call those Lesbian party lines back in the day.  My hunch is that probably not so much, because she did a lot of her work in the time of a telephone monopoly, when long-distance service was really expensive and I can tell you…plenty of telephone disconnection services show up in the archived papers of Black feminist writers.   Considering the miracles that Lorde participated in with sister-comrades, Pat Parker, Barbara Smith, Cheryl Clarke, Honor Moore while not living in the same state, or on the same coast or in the same country, through snail mail letters,  it blows my mind to imagine what they might have done via skype!

At the same time…I’m grateful that some of those profound, world shifting, publication creating, discourse transforming conversations had to happen in letters, sometimes literally carbon-copied (the original “cc”) to multiple people.  Because as a scholar, retro-stalker and Black feminist devotee having those letters available to read and reread means everything.  Provides a trail and a trace.  How are we documenting our brilliance now?

At any rate I think Audre would be tripping with glee at even the glitch-filled experience that those of us in the School of Our Lorde publishing webinar had in an audio-visual enabled internet chat room in her name!  Blowing each other kisses from Durham, to Cairo, to New York City to the Rio Grande Valley, to New Hampshire, Fayetteville, to DC to Minnesota, to California, to Albany…you get the idea.  I wonder if the energy of those kisses and the speed and delight with which they are received is having an internet butterfly effect, creating a storm of warrior wisdom and transformation, fanning the flames of our hearts and the ferocity of our words.

All I know is that I wake up everyday looking for another way to commune with the brilliant, complicated, warrior energy that I call Audre Lorde.  And these past three weeks in the webinar I have been blessed to experience the playfulness, wisdom, hopeful spirit, critical insight, flirtatious naughtiness, and unblinkawayable beauty of Audre in the faces and typing fingers of all of the participants in the webinar.   I am so grateful for this experience and I’m looking forward to how the poetry webinar (Mondays starting June 2  at 7:30 EDT at www.tinychat.com/schoolofourlorde) will print you further on my heart.  (email brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com for the readings for the next webinar!)

In the hands of the many,

Lex





Combahee Survival Revival Week!!!!!

24 05 2010

Combahee Survival Week!!!!!

In honor of Sakia Gunn and the Combahee River Collective, Combahee Survival Revival Week in Durham, NC will be a week full of trainings on how to live, eat, work and think sustainably and radically! Featuring fieldtrips, farm workdays, experiments, video making, poetic games, political discussions, writing workshops, healing demonstrations, backyard camp-outs, singing, dancing and bonding, this week will be a preview of Black Feminist Heaven…what our community looks like when we share what we know, turn towards each other and nurture and amplify our exciting interconnections!!!! This process is inspired by the brilliance and legacy of Black feminists on the universe, and everyone of every background who is inspired by that legacy is encouraged to participate!

Get ready for the best week ever!!!!!

*Come by the Inspiration Station any time to participate in the Survival Guide Layout Zine Making Process! (Just send Lex a text!)

Tuesday May 25th

3pm Mamas Gathering @ the Inspiration Station

Come have tea and inspiration at a mama-centric baby-filled gathering about how we can create support for radical mamaz.  Special video-cam visits from radical mamaz and Combahee Survival Guide contributors Mai’a Williams, Noemi Martinez and Cynthia Oka.

6pm Safe in Our Streets Roundtable on Queer Youth and Safety

@ Durham Media Center-110 East Geer Street Durham, NC 27701

Facilitated by Mattias and Mya of the Youth Noise Network this will be a recorded youth-centered conversation about the Safe in Our Streets campaign, Sakia Gunn and the complexity of safety for youth in Durham.

Wednesday May 26th—(Sakia Gunn’s Birthday)


3:30pm (meet @ Inspiration station)  with something that says you live in NC to get into the museum free or meet us there: 433 West Murray Avenue, Durham, NC 27704-3101)

Afterschool Butterfly Ancestors Workshop at the Butterfly House @ the Museum for Life and Science (led by Nia Wilson)

6pm Southerners on New Ground Organizing School Report Back

Honor Sakia Gunn and yourself by gathering for a potluck dinner and interactive exploration of what Durham folks learned at the Southerners on New Ground Organizing School.

Thursday May 27th


Baking Day at Bread Uprising Bakery!!!!!! (on Arnette Ave)

10 am Folks are welcome to come witness the process and help with baking at the Bread Uprising Bakery, bring a hat!

1pm Lunch and Bakery Workshop at Bread Uprising!!!!

Make your own bread and learn about the magic of community sustained food sources from Noah and Tim.

6pm Interactive Root Chakra Survival Workshop @ Inspiration Station

(facilitated by Audrey Esquivel and Kifu Faruq)

Friday May 28th—

12pm Noontime Oshun Eno River Experience (featuring Kia Carscallen)

(meet at the inspiration station at 11:45am or at the West Point of the Eno.  We will be standing in the river! Dress accordingly!)

5ish (Seneca the teenage philosopher gets to town!!!!!!)

6:30 pm BACKYARD CAMPOUT at the Inspiration Station

(bring s’more materials and survival stories)

Saturday May 29th—

Morning: Potluck Brunch with Parents picking up campers!!!!


3pm Sisters of the Healing Drum Circle (hosted by Salsa Soul Sister starting Black Lesbian Elders Harriet Alston and Carolyn Gray)

9pm until…Pajama Jammy-Jam Featuring your favorite Early 90′s Music at the Summit Spot!

Monday May 31—Work Day at JRuth Farm 9am-3pm. Transportation available.

Inspired?

Push the button to sign up to be a monthly sustainer (the big blue number is how much you’ll be donating each month automatically)!





Best Weekend Ever: Combahee Survival Revival Kick-Off!

19 05 2010

www.combaheesurvival.wordpress.com

LOVED ONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Welcome to the future. As we get ready for the best week ever…orient your bliss with a BEAUTIFUL weekend featuring Durham diaspora all-stars Ebony Noelle Golden and Zachari Curtis, Greensboro commuter Laila A. and YOU!!!!!!!
*Email me at brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com if you want help support parents, donate art supplies, food, toilet paper etc, or if you want to take pictures or shoot video of the events!!!!!

***Note…all events this weekend start at the Inspiration Station email brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com for street address)

Set-it off on Saturday!
5/22

10 am Continental Breakfast at the Inspiration Station (Guess which continent?)

11 am Herban Foraging with Zachari Curtis

Farmer, dancer, capoerista, singer, visionary sista-comrade Zachari Curtis returns to Durham to share with us her knowledge of local, informal food sources. On this leisurely walk through the neighborhood adjacent to the Inspiration Station we will share knowledge and benefit from Zachari’s generations-thick knowledge of plants in and from this region. YUM!

2pm Combahee: We Invented the Remix (Guerilla Altar Making) with Ebony Noelle Golden)

Bring scrap-exchange esque items ready for transformation as we re-create/re-affirm West Durham (the neighbrorhood of the Inspiration Station) as a sacred space for the Combahee Survival Revival and the duration. We will be reading, performing and remixing passages from the sacred text (The Combahee River Collective Statement-download here: http://combaheesurvival.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/combahee.pdf) while we leave markers for passersby to come, witness, and transform.

5pm Potluck Dinner and Zine-Making @ the Inspiration Station


We’ve got veggie burgers and hot dogs and a borrowed grill. Bring your sides and your smiles for outdoor or indoor fellowship and an art station where you can layout/collage a page of the Combahee Survival Guide!

****updated**** 7pm SeeSaw Teen Design Show

Celebrate the SeeSaw Studio’s 3rd Annual BLAMO Teen Design Show at 410 West Geer Street from 7-8:30pm!  This show will feature a runway of t-shirts, skirts, bags and skateboard decks from our Youth Designers.  Admission is free – please tell EVERYONE to come out and support the positive achievements of youth in Durham!

And then…dancing?

************************************************************

Salvation Sunday (5/23)

11am Potluck Brunch at the Inspiration Station

Bring goodies, drink fancy herbal teas (thanks to Erin Bree for the Whole Foods hook up!) Come meet the beautiful out of town guests and recruit them to move to Durham! Do more Zine Making if you feel like it!

1pm Sakia Gunn Sunday School
What does it mean to honor a queer black ancestor who became an ancestor far too early, at the age of 15? What does it mean to honor the life of someone who is best known as the victim of a brutal death. This Sunday School right before what would be Sakia Gunn’s 24th birthday we seek and praise what it means to honor queer youth of color as spiritual leaders in our communities.

5pm Black Girls Rock II: Porch Concert featuring Laila A.!!!!


If you missed the first Black Girls Rock event…you can wake your heart up and rejoice. This Sunday you get a second chance to hear the self-taught beautiful creations of queer Black brilliant Greensboro singer-song-writer-guitarist Laila A. What’s that? You rock too? Let us know at this intimate supportive concert on the side porch of the Inspiration Station.

AND 7pm …Sunday Dinner Survival Potluck
You know how we do!

Sneak preview of the events for the rest of the week!

Monday May 24th—Daytrip to Tierra Negra Farm (yay for Tahz and Christina)

Tuesday May 25th—3pm Mamas Gathering @ the Inspiration Station

— 6pm Safe in Our Streets Roundtable on Queer Youth and Safety (featuring the Youth Noise Network @ Durham Media Center)

Wednesday May 26th—(Sakia Gunn’s Birthday)

Afterschool Butterfly Ancestors Workshop at the Museum for Life and Science (featuring Nia Wilson)

Thursday May 27th—Baking Day at Bread Uprising Bakery!!!!!!

Interactive Root Chakra Survival Workshop (featuring Audrey Esquivel and Kifu Faruq)

Friday May 28th—Noontime Oshun Eno River Experience (featuring Kia Carscallen)

(Seneca the teenage philosopher gets to town!!!!!!)

BACKYARD CAMPOUT at the Inspiration Station

Saturday May 29th—Sisters of the Healing Drum Circle (featuring Salsa Soul Sister starting Black Lesbian Elders Harriet Alston and Carolyn Gray)

Pajama Jammy-Jam Featuring your favorite Early 90′s Music at the Summit Spot!

Sunday May 30th—-Brunch and Garden Walk at the Summit Spot

Monday May 31—Work Day at JRuth Farm 9am-3pm. Transportation available.

Super inspired? Donate or become a monthly sustainer of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind!!!!

http://blackfeministmind.wordpress.com/donation-station/





Combahee Survival Revival NEXT Week!

17 05 2010

SAVE THE DATE! COMBAHEE SURVIVAL REVIVAL WEEK IN DURHAM, NC MAY 22-29th

In honor of Sakia Gunn and the Combahee River Collective, Combahee Survival Revival Week in Durham, NC will be a week full of trainings on how to live, eat, work and think sustainably and radically! Featuring fieldtrips, farm workdays, experiments, video making, poetic games, political discussions, writing workshops, healing demonstrations, backyard camp-outs, singing, dancing and bonding, this week will be a preview of Black Feminist Heaven…what our community looks like when we share what we know, turn towards each other and nurture and amplify our exciting interconnections!!!! This process is inspired by the brilliance and legacy of Black feminists on the universe, and everyone of every background who is inspired by that legacy is encouraged to participate!

Get ready for the best week ever!!!!!

Saturday May 22nd– Guerilla Altar Making and Herban Foraging (featuring Zachari Curtis!)

Sunday May 23rd—10 am Sunday School in Honor of Sakia Gunn

3pm Black Girls Rock Concert on the Porch of the Inspiration Station (featuring Laila A.!)

Monday May 24th—Daytrip to Tierra Negra Farm (yay for Tahz and Christina)

Tuesday May 25th—3pm Mamas Gathering @ the Inspiration Station

— 6pm Safe in Our Streets Roundtable on Queer Youth and Safety (featuring the Youth Noise Network @ Durham Media Center)

Wednesday May 26th—(Sakia Gunn’s Birthday)

Afterschool Butterfly Ancestors Workshop at the Museum for Life and Science (featuring Nia Wilson)

Thursday May 27th—Baking Day at Bread Uprising Bakery!!!!!!

Interactive Root Chakra Survival Workshop (featuring Audrey Esquivel and Kifu Faruq)

Friday May 28th—Noontime Oshun Eno River Experience (featuring Kia Carscallen)

(Seneca the teenage philosopher gets to town!!!!!!)

BACKYARD CAMPOUT at the Inspiration Station

Saturday May 29th—Sisters of the Healing Drum Circle (featuring Salsa Soul Sister starting Black Lesbian Elders Harriet Alston and Carolyn Gray)

Pajama Jammy-Jam Featuring your favorite Early 90′s Music at the Summit Spot!

Sunday May 30th—-Brunch and Garden Walk at the Summit Spot

Monday May 31—Work Day at JRuth Farm

If you’d like to support the Combahee Survival Process and you live in or near Durham here are some ways you can be part of the village! Email brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com and let me know how you want to participate!!!

*COME! Participate in the activities, fieldtrips, discussions, backyard camp-out and EVERYDAY shared meals. Bring the whole family!

*FOOD!!!! This is the most crucial way that most people can participate…cook a dish, donate food, donate a gift card to the grocery store or hook us up with goodies/leftovers from the restauraunt that you work for!

*Parental Support-all activities are designed for all ages to participate, but in order to model a parent supportive community we’d like to have non-parent volunteers to help support and look out for the youngest among us so that parents can fully participate in the sessions they attend.
*Rides to fieldtrips..we’ll be going to the Eno River, to Tierra Negra Farm, to the Museum of Life and Science and more. If you can help drive when we carpool that would be awesome. And you’ll get a copy of Lex’s reading Audre Lorde poems on CD to listen to in the car!
*Documentation-THIS is going to be the Best Week Ever!!!! Help us document by taking pictures or video.
*Photocopies-if you can make photocopies at your job as an official or unofficial inkind donation…let me know!

***Much needed supplies:

For out of town guests, sleepovers and the backyard campout we’ll need to borrow

air mattresses

sleeping bags

tents

*This event is designed for Durham residents and with Durham at heart, but some members of the Durham diaspora and potential Durham recruits will be in town for the festivities.   Let me know if you’d like to host someone from out of town.

We’ll also be using a lot of

*t-shirts and other clothing ready to be transformed

*printer ink

*acrylic t-shirt transfers from office depot (get the ones for t-shirts of color)

*DV tape (digital video tape)

*Medium trash bags
*Toilet paper
*misc. art supplies
*big post-it paper
*pens and pencils

Email brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com to volunteer or to find out more!!!!!





Still Brave Podcast

14 05 2010

Greetings loved ones!!!!!

This podcast is a graduation gift from me to you, from Black Women’s Studies to me and to a planet ready to be transformed by our bravery!!!  Consider it a bravery infusion, listen to it when you need a supplement, or honor yourself by contextualizing your brilliance in the deep tradition of Black feminist intellectual bravery.

Despite the adversity (two different police officers in one county in Virginia pulled me over on my way) I was able to have the beautiful experience of attending the Still Brave Symposium at University of Maryland, a celebration of the impact of the classic anthology All the Women are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies and the contributors of the new collection Still Brave, published by the Feminist Press last year.

On this podcast you will hear Black feminist scholars Akasha Hull, Barbara Smith, Patricia Hill Collins, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Frances Foster Smith, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Cheryl Wall, Cheryl Clarke, Elsa Barkely Brown, Merle Collins, Renina Jarmon, Christin Taylor, Courtney Marshall, Monica A. Coleman, Faith Pennick, Nikki Lane, Sharon Hurley, and Althea Tait talking about what keeps them BRAVE.  You will also hear music from Janelle Monae, Mahalia Jackson, Goapele, Mosadi Music, John Coltrane, Lykki Li, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Amanda Ray, The Lost Bois, Santigold and more!

The experience of making and editing this podcast affirms for me that tomorrow when I walk to get my PhD in English, African and African American Studies and Women’s Studies, I am participating in a long, deep, resonant walk with many fellow travelers.  One of the blessings that keeps me brave is the vibrant, intergenerational community of Black feminist scholars, cultural workers and activists represented here.

Stay brave,

Alexis

Still Brave


direct link: https://brokenbeautiful.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/still-brave.mp3





Essex Hemphill Sunday School: The Podcast

9 05 2010

You know I had to hook you up for Mother’s Day!  To honor the nurturing work that queer Black folks have been doing in all of our communities for lifetimes….this podcast honors the prophet, poet, activist, ancestor Essex Hemphill.  Documenting the Sunday School at the Inspiration Station celebrating Hemphill’s birthday in April, this podcast features the voices of Durham’s finest (and the Durham diaspora) reading Hemphill’s poetry and our own work inspired by his legacy, his visions of the afterlife, his love for community.   Wake up new with the powerful voices of Yolanda Carrington, Ashon Crawley, Diane Beckett, Chelsea Earles, Beth Bruch, Jade Brooks, Elandria Williams, Ebony Noelle Golden, and get inspired with beautiful music from Yolo Akili, Meshell Ndegeocello, Duke Ellington, Raheem DeVaughn, Res, and Curtis Mayfield.

Contextualize your Sunday, mother yourself, listen with your mother!


(direct link: https://brokenbeautiful.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/essex-hemphill-sunday-school-podcast-1.mp3)

(and this time the levels are totally equal, but still a little quiet.  So raise the praise and pump up the volume.)

Infinite love,

Alexis








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